The business-friendly political party Solutions Barbados wants to know why lawmen cannot identify the people behind the illegal guns and drugs that end up on the streets of Barbados, while “the boys on the block” know where to source them.
“It seems that the police may require additional resources because even visitors to the island who need drugs know where to find them. However, it appears that the police do not know the sources. Those who want to rent a gun know the source, but the police do not know it. We have to find out if the resources the police have are inadequate or are improperly managed,” political leader Grenville Phillips II said as he pledged his support for any Government initiative to curb the spiralling gun violence.
Solutions Barbados is among three fledgling political movements to express concern about the violence, in the wake of Monday’s shooting at Grand Kadooment, which resulted in the death of 20-year-old Taried Junior Rock of 3rd Ave Chapman Lane, St Michael and injuries to at least 18 other people, including a six-year-old boy.
The United Progressive Party (UPP) said it was prepared to “stand with all those willing to take urgent action to pull Barbados back from the precipice”, while Citizens’ Action Partnership (CAP) promised to support a joint effort to tackle gun-related crime.
UPP Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Maria Phillips said Barbados had witnessed an alarming increase in
gun-related crimes, stressing while the party did not want to “spread despondency and alarm” it could not deny that the crime situation was escalating.
“While in the past gun-related crime seemed to have been limited to those who engaged in some level of criminal activity themselves, recently it has spilled over into the society to affect ordinary Barbadians carrying on their ordinary lives,”
“There is a perceived breakdown in law and order when there is a proliferation of illegal guns on the streets and yet there is only very limited arrests and prosecution of individuals involved in the illegal gun trade,” she added, while advising the Freundel Stuart administration to invoke its powers to increase the number of security personnel manning the country’s borders.
Meantime, CAP leader Wendell Callender told Barbados TODAY the current spike in gun crimes was nothing new, but it must be dealt with comprehensively.
“All of the social agencies have to come on board: the Church, the family, the community organizations, the Government, the private sector, everybody. I do not think that it is just about the crime itself. I think it is about the society, because if we build a wholesome society then it tends to minimize the level of heinous crimes that would be thrown up,” Callender said.